One night I was exhausted and had poured myself out all day and night to the afflicted around the Phoenix Valley, and I just wanted to go home, but I had to stop for gas.
As I was pumping the gas, I could feel my body being turned towards the gas station entrance, and I was forced to look at a young couple sitting on the ground outside the gas station. (I say forced to look at, because God’s Holy Spirit had pulled my body and eyes to look and take notice when I just wanted to be blind and going home).
The young couple needed help, but I didn’t think I had anything left to give financially or physically. I tried to ignore the tugging on my body, but it was a tugging that was more persistent than ever before in the past, so I got my gas and pulled up to the front of the store to see how I could help them.
As I sat on the ground with them and began talking, I learned that they were both from the foster care system as many of the people on the streets that I help are. They had a baby that was in state custody, because they were homeless. They needed help, so they could get their baby back, but neither of their families cared or were willing to help them, so they were forced to beg on the streets.
They were working out a plan to get on their feet, but they couldn’t seem to get that little boost they needed to break free from the oppression of poverty and a victimized past.
I prayed with them and told them to keep asking and praying, because God would provide everything they would need if they only asked Him. As I was talking a man came over that looked like he would never stop and help anyone, but he told the guy to come in the store with him and pick out some food and whatever they needed and he would pay for it. It was funny, because the guy really wasn’t even that nice about it, but it was obvious that God was forcing him to help the young couple also.
As they were shopping, I was sharing God’s love with the broken girl that was ready to give up after losing her baby and spending her life in foster care suffering trauma after trauma. She didn’t want her child to have her same fate. I asked what they needed to get a motel room for the night and they said $40, or something like that, but I only had $42 left after going around helping people all day, and I hadn’t eaten all day. I was planning to get some food on the way home, and I needed to keep one of the 20’s, so I gave them $22, and told them God would provide the rest.
Well He did, but it wasn’t how I thought. As I walked to my car, another person approached me and asked me for a dollar to get gas. I explained that I gave my last few dollars to the couple on the sidewalk, but I could run my credit card for him to get some gas. He said no, and walked away really sad.
Of course, it broke my heart to see anyone in need and not have help, so I pulled out my last 20, and told the guy on the sidewalk that I found another twenty that I would give to him if he would take the two dollars that I gave him and give it to the man at the gas pump. He was happy to do it, because that meant he would now have the $40 that he needed for the motel room.
I watched him give the two dollars to the man, and I saw a person getting gas reach into his wallet and pulled out enough money to cover the rest of the man’s need for gas.
This was over a year ago, and I really can’t recall all of the details, but I remember leaving the gas station happy and annoyed. I was so hungry and tired, and I was complaining half the way home to God, but God never said a word.
I couldn’t understand in the moment what God was doing. All I could see was how my bank account was empty and I had to give the last of my money away to strangers when I was starved and exhausted, so they could eat and get a motel room.
Did I really starve that night? No, I went to in and out burger and used my credit card for food. I thought how could God want me to rack up my credit cards all the time so other people could be blessed and I would have to suffer. I didn’t realize at the time that less than a year later all of my credit cards and tax debt would all be paid in full. More than $65,000 that seemed to never be going down as I made the minimum payments each month, but God had a better plan. I am so grateful that I didn’t believe all of the people that said God would never allow me to go into debt to help others. They were all wrong. God will do whatever God wants to do, and we are to be obedient even when it hurts, and we can’t understand why. I promise that it is ALWAYS worth it!!
Everyone that helped that night at the gas station, reluctant as we all may have been, I know God blessed.
God is good all the time, and he wants us to be more like Him, and give all that we have to bless others. It is in doing that, that He greatly blesses us. There is truly no greater joy than to know that you have helped another life find hope and know love. Even when it costs all that you have to help, give it all! Time, money, encouragement, prayers, and any gifts that you may have to bless others, use and give freely.